Our first opinion on Joel's eyes was just that. An opinion. He said that Joel's eye or eyes would eventually not work well, we could do surgery, but that may not help either, and it was neurological, which the neurologist disagreed.... It was frustrating. And it made me feel up in a corner. What good does it do for the patient if you have two doctors disagreeing with each other, but no one is actively trying to solve the problem but the parent...who knows nothing about the eye or the brain?
I was referred to Dr. Baxtrom by a mommy friend. Her son goes there for vision therapy and has had miraculous results. I had/have no doubt that my son needs all therapies. He was sedated and on heavy narcotics for the first 3 months of his life. If he needs major physical therapy and occupational therapy, why wouldn't he need help with his eyes as well?
Baxtrom's opinion of Joel's eyes was much different than the first. He discontinued the eye patches. After a straight month of diligent patching, we'd seen zero improvement. He said that he's actually seen negative progress after patching in a case like Joel's. It wasn't that one eye was turning (strabismus, which is what the first doc said it was.) The problem with Joel's eyes is that they aren't working together. If an object appears in his right periferal vision, his left eye has a tendency to turn in anyway, and so his left eye is taking "lead" in a circumstance where the right eye should be turning outward to view the object, and vice-versa. Does that make sense?
There's no reason to patch either eye. They work fine on their own. It's working together that they need help on, which can be done. Did you hear me??? IT CAN BE DONE. Dr. Baxtrom said he has every reason to believe Joel has the potential to have "normal" eyes. No surgery. Just special glasses, and extra practice with lateral tracking.
So he's getting glasses :) Green rubber glasses. They'll get here in a couple of weeks, and the neat thing about them is that the inside of the lenses, (around the bridge of the nose) is hazy. So, in the circumstance I mentioned earlier, when his left eye wants to take lead, it won't be able to, because it won't be able to see through the haze. The right eye will be forced to do it's job.
So there it is. There's the news. It was a great afternoon in Federal Way, and the clinic was by the mall....which we stopped and did a little shopping. Early enough that there were no shoppers, we got to take Joel to a mall, safely, without the panic that someone would cough on him, or not be able to find a plug in with the holiday crowds. And he saw Santa :) I'll post a pic soon of that. It was classic.